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US rescinds contract to operate Nevada National Security Site

The National Nuclear Security Administration on Wednesday rescinded a $5 billion, 10-year contract it awarded last week to a Lockheed Martin subsidiary to manage and operate the Nevada National Security Site because the company did not tell the agency it had sold the unit.

“This change in ownership raises substantial questions about the information in the NVS3T proposal, which could significantly impact the evaluation of the proposal and award decision,” said a statement from the National Nuclear Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Energy.

The decision to rescind the contract to NVS3T — short for Nevada Site Science Support and Technologies Corp. — has prompted the federal agency to “reconsider all offers previously received in response to the request for proposals,” the statement said.

After the contract was awarded on Friday, the agency found out Leidos Innovations Corp. had acquired NVS3T from Lockheed Martin, according to the statement. Leidos Innovations Corp., is part of Leidos Holdings, a Reston, Virginia business that supports the U.S. intelligence community and military customers.

NVS3T was supposed take over Sept. 30 from National Security Technologies LLC, with both companies sharing a four-month-long transition period to manage and operate the Nevada National Security Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Five competitors vied for the contract, which is valued at $5 billion through 2026 if all options are exercised.

NVS3T, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Integrated Technology LLC. Two other companies — Fluor Federal Services and Longenecker and Associates — were to support NVS3T under the contract.

The 1,360-square-mile security site was formerly known as the Nevada Test Site, where full-scale nuclear weapons tests were conducted from 1951 to 1992. Among its current missions is to help ensure the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile through scientific experiments.

Calls seeking comment from Leidos and Lockheed Martin Integrated Technology were not returned Wednesday.

Before a name change in 2013, Leidos had been known as Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, which for years had a stake in the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain project — the federal effort to study, license and build a repository for the nation’s highly-radioactive waste in a ridge on the southwestern edge of the former Nevada Test Site.

SAIC also teamed up with Bechtel to serve as chief management contractor on the Yucca project from 2001 to 2009.

Contact Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @KeithRogers2.

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